The Great British illusion

So, this week I have hit rock bottom in my despair over this nations fixation with our exceptionalism.

It started with Matt Hancock trumpeting the vaccine approval as a triumph of Brexit and statements about Britain leading the world. The vaccine is a result of international collaboration and we have used existing EU regulations around emergency procedures to fast track the approval.

The vaccine is something to celebrate. In the words of WLSC “it is not the end of the virus, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it might be the end of the beginning”. But, it should not be a reason to parrot nationalistic “we’re better than you” playground taunts.

Following this I have just noticed the number of programmes on TV which are titled “The Great British . . . ” we’ve got Bake Off, of course. But there’s a whole raft of other Great British programmes which may once have been a fun play of the geographical name of these islands but now, to me, seem to be aimed at giving permission to narrow minded people to continue to think they’re somehow better than others. The problems facing the world will not be solved by countries trumpeting their own greatness and living on their fading pasts but of nations putting difference aside, celebrating our shared values and working together for the betterment of everyone.